Schadenfreude, in German meaning ‘shameful/harmful joy’, is often seen as the most ignoble of the emotions. As you all know, it means taking satisfaction from the misfortune of others. So a few confessions. First I hope the WC just started in South Africa is a disaster in every sense, but particularly in relation to major criminal activity, attacks on and robberies from foreign fans, and lousy organization everywhere. The main reasons I want this to happen is that it might show the world how a once great First World country has descended into the criminal chaos that characterizes all black ‘run’ countries. It might also underline the problems the white population there now face there.
The other reason is the impact this would have on the egregious Sepp Blatter (Septic Bladder), President of FIFA. Despite, or because of, being a crook, he was elected President largely by the votes of African countries. The nefarious ways he achieved this are described in a must read book ‘Foul’ by Andrew Jennings. One of the promises was to hold a WC in Africa by 2010. This despite the massive downsides from almost every perspective. So a disaster would deposit a full omelet in his repulsive face.
The other source of schadenfreude I have no excuse for: I want to see England lose at an early stage. Now actually I like the English, and according to a survey conducted by the Irish Tourist Board, they are our most popular visitors. Yet I suspect most of us want them to lose. Why?
Well, as someone said, it’s not the 800 years of occupation, it was the 30 years of Jimmy Hill and David Coleman. Personally, I think it relates more to the fact that England has always been huge and dominating, Ireland small and insignificant. I think this is why the Scots feel the same way. And by the way, while we Irish might generally want the England soccer team to lose, we tend to be a bit discreet about it. Scots on the other hand will make every effort to let their English ‘friends’ know their feelings.
As Denis Law said, when asked was 1959 (the year Manchester United were virtually wiped out in that plane crash) the worst year of his life, ‘no, that’d be 1966’. That was the year England won the World Cup!
And by the way, this doesn’t, at least for the Irish, and certainly for me, extend to other sports. Only soccer. I don't know why, but it’s not good.